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Airmen help beautify New York landmark

Staff Sgt. Edward Blunnie looks up at the remaining weeds that he and many of the other 33 Airmen will be removing from between brickwork during the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Sergeant Blunnie is a pest management craftsman with the 514th Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Staff Sgt. Edward Blunnie looks up at the remaining weeds that he and many of the other 33 Airmen will be removing from between brickwork during the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Sergeant Blunnie is a pest management craftsman with the 514th Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Senior Airman Jordan Dalbenzio and 33 other Airmen did not let constant rain stop them from participating in the in the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Airman Dalbenzio is assigned to the command post of the 108th Contingency Response Group, with the New Jersey Air National Guard at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Senior Airman Jordan Dalbenzio and 33 other Airmen did not let constant rain stop them from participating in the in the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Airman Dalbenzio is assigned to the command post of the 108th Contingency Response Group, with the New Jersey Air National Guard at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Jessica Jamhoury points up at the Soldiers and Saliors Memorial Arch as speaks about the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park during a briefing for the 34 Airmen who participated in the cleanup of the plaza as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ms. Jamhoury is a project coordinator with Prospect Park Alliance, the organization that maintains this New York City park. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Jessica Jamhoury points up at the Soldiers and Saliors Memorial Arch as speaks about the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park during a briefing for the 34 Airmen who participated in the cleanup of the plaza as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ms. Jamhoury is a project coordinator with Prospect Park Alliance, the organization that maintains this New York City park. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Senior Airman Karen Maguyon, and Airman Shaquilla Kerney were not deterred by the constant rain that fell on 34 Airmen who participated in the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Airmen Maguyon and Kerney are the knowledge operations manager and specialist assigned to the 306th Maintenance Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

Senior Airman Karen Maguyon, and Airman Shaquilla Kerney were not deterred by the constant rain that fell on 34 Airmen who participated in the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Airmen Maguyon and Kerney are the knowledge operations manager and specialist assigned to the 306th Maintenance Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

A constant rain falling on the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch could not deter 34 Airmen who participated in the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

A constant rain falling on the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch could not deter 34 Airmen who participated in the cleanup of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, as part of Air Force Week New York's Volunteer Day Aug. 25, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)

NEW YORK (AFNS) -- More than 30 Airmen helped clean up one of New York City's well-known military memorials as part of Air Force Week here Aug. 25.

Despite rainy weather, Airmen from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst donned gloves and ponchos while they beautified the 11-acre Grand Army Plaza. This plaza is the opening to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and the site of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch, a memorial dedicated to servicemembers who died during the Civil War.

This Air Force Volunteer Day is a first for an Air Force Week, and one of three volunteer events scheduled to be held this week. These events are designed for Airmen to show their support and appreciation for the citizens of New York, while educating them about the Air Force mission.

The Grand Army Plaza is the most-used entrance to Prospect Park, said Jessica Jamhoury, a project coordinator with Prospect Volunteer Corps.

"It's difficult to maintain this area," she said. "It's amazing the impact that you can make with 50 people in four hours, so it's wonderful to have you guys here. It's wonderful to have (the plaza) looking it's best, and it's the best way to honor our Soldiers and Sailors."

One volunteer came not only to support the event as a Reserve Airman assigned to JB McGuire, but also as a member of the local community.

Staff Sgt. Edward Blunnie, a pest management technician, is assigned to the 514th Civil Engineer Squadron at JB McGuire, said he only lives a few miles from the park, so he decided to come help out with the event.

"I'm an early riser and I figured 'why not, I help my wife with the garden, let me help out here as well,'" said Sergeant Blunnie, who also manages the base cleanup team at JB McGuire. "I take pride in all I do. So, I figured, 'you know what, give back and help the community.'"

Airmen will also clean up Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and visit with veterans at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Hospital in the Bronx.

For more information on Air Force Week New York events, visit www.airforceweek.af.mil.